Story one: Sandra came home from work one afternoon to find her 16-year-old son and his best friend sitting out on the patio talking.  The weather was nice and the kitchen window was raised, allowing Sandra to hear (or be heard) by both boys. 

 

They were so engrossed in their conversation, however, that they were unaware of her arrival.  Just as Sandra was about to call out to them, she overheard her son's friend say that a mutual under-aged friend was planning to shoplift some alcohol that Friday evening and go "parking" with his girlfriend.

Sandra knew the parents of both the young people in question; they all attended the same church.  While she didn't feel particularly close to the parents, she knew she'd want to know were it her son or daughter about to make such a foolish mistake.

 

Rather than speaking up right then, Sandra waited until later that evening and called both sets of parents, explaining what she'd heard and that, while she wasn't trying to "tattle," she didn't want to see anyone do something they would most likely end up regretting.

 

The parents of the boy were most appreciative, saying they'd talk with their son without letting him know how they learned of his plan.

 

The parents of the girl, however, were livid.  "How dare you eavesdrop on your son and then proceed to judge our daughter?"

 

Sandra vehemently attempted to explain that this was NOT what she was doing, but the parents would not or could not hear her heart.  By the next afternoon, her angry son confronted Sandra.  However the tension this caused in their home paled compared to the problems that arose in their small, community-style church.

 

Sandra had only meant to stop a possible disaster, but the misunderstanding of her motives caused what felt like a catastrophe.        

 

Story Two:  Jane and her husband thought it best that she stop working in the corporate world when their child was born. This meant money would be tight, so Jane freelanced and money always seemed to come when they needed it.

However, Jane's working friends thought she'd had lost her mind and Jane suddenly found herself thrown headfirst into what she calls "the mommy wars; working outside the home or staying with your child and caring for the home."


Moms, Jane now says, can be a rough [and misunderstanding] crowd on that issue.

 

Story Three:  Sometimes, as a mother, you'll be misunderstood ... even long after the kids are grown and gone. One year, during the Christmas holidays, Betty's daughter and family were visiting from out of state. For several days mother and child had shopped and played and done things together. 

On the last day of their visit, Betty began taking down the Christmas decorations, which-as she freely admits-it quite a job. ("I over do when it," she tells me, "when it comes to decorating, several trees, lots of garlands, etc.)